I installed osCommerce many moons ago for a project I had running around in my head where I was going to become one of those Ebay Platinum powersellers and run a massive store website in parallel. That idea must not have been a very good one because I don’t even remember what I was going to sell. I remember the shopping cart script enough to write about it years later, but I have no recollection of the products. It just goes to show you that I was meant to demo new software for a living or something as equally satisfying for the adult with ADD.
The install went fine, and there was definitely a learning curve, but nothing that seemed impossible for the neophyte to figure out. I liked the layout even though it was a common one I had seen many times before on other sites. One of the great things about having software so attractive and usable out of the box is that all of us jerks who don’t know how to program are going to use all the default settings. All I did was change some colors and I had a brand new (to me) custom online retail store.
As I was writing about changing the colors, it helped me remember the products I was going to sell with osCommerce. I recall changing the site to a pinkish color, but that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’m the type of person that looks for opportunity without worrying too much about what people think. If someone told me I could make millions of dollars selling Depends undergarments while being absolutely fulfilled, I would jump at the chance. The fulfilling part is really the one part that matters, and that’s why the cliche’ about doing what you enjoy is pretty true. As always, I digress…
The one thing I did not like about osCommerce is that it made your customers (or would be customers) sign up for an account. This was a major turn off and I had a hard time getting past this based on personal preference. I know not everyone is like me, but the fact that I will often blow off a purchase if I have to create an account first made me wonder how many sales I would lose to people like me.
Another road block that I experience with any ecommerce shopping cart is that I never fully understood how all the parts fit together. There are so many different variables that I never knew what I needed to have or needed to provide in the script. Did I need a merchant account? Do I need a gateway? Do I need a programmer to add something? This is still the one aspect of building functional websites I still cringe about. I recently set up a WordPress site with one thing for sale, so I used a popular ecommerce plugin. All the settings for the plugin are fine, but PayPal is just so cluttered with information on their site that I can never find any answers. I tried emailing support and they wanted me to call instead. Last time I called PayPal, I hung up with more questions than I started with, so I completely blew it off.
I think the two issues noted here are extremely minor and osCommerce is ideal if you want to go the free route. I’m sure there are lots of people that don’t mind signing up, so that’s not a deal breaker for most people. The problem I have with payment processing is not even really a problem since it’s my own lack of understanding that keeps me from embracing ecommerce sites of my own. As long as you can change some colors or a bit of the layout to make it your own, I would definitely recommend choosing osCommerce for making millions selling your Depends undergarments online.